b. 1st Q 1877 Stithians, Cornwall. d. 21/05/1929 Redruth, Cornwall.
DATE OF EM ACTION: 26/04/1911 East Pool Mine, Illogan, Cornwall.
Albert was one of eight children born to John and Honor Jane Opie (nee Dunstan) in 1877. The Opie family grew up in the village of Stithians, Cornwall, and Albert followed in his father’s footsteps and became a miner. In 1902, he married Emily Hill in Redruth, and they had a daughter Louisa. He received his Edward Medal from King George V at Buckingham Palace on 6th March 1912. Little else is known about Albert’s life following the award of the Edward Medal. He died in 1929 in Redruth, aged 52 and is buried in St Eurys Churchyard.
On April 26th, 1911, three men employed at the East Pool and Agar United Mines at Camborne were descending to their work and were accidentally lowered into an accumulation of water, which was known to exist but had greatly increased during the previous night without the knowledge of the management. Two of the men, who were on the outside of the skip, jumped off but the man who was inside was drowned. One of the two survivors caught hold of a ladder and managed to climb up the shaft to safety, while the other held on to an air pipe, but was afraid to jump across the intervening space to the ladder. On the alarm being given, Opie immediately came down the shaft to try and get this man out but failed to reach him. Accompanied by Kemp, he then descended another shaft and travelled along & cross cut to the shaft where the man was hanging. This cross cut was nearly filled with water, which was constantly rising, and at one point actually touched the roof. Opie, at the risk of his life, plunged under the water, came up on the other side, and made his way to the shaft where the man was hanging. He succeeded in bringing him out by dragging him through the water in the cross cut. Kemp did not go under water, but stayed in a position of considerable danger to maintain a light while the man was being brought out. These Medals were presented personally by The King at Buckingham Palace on the 6th of March, 1912.
BURIAL LOCATION: ST EURYS CHURCHYARD, REDRUTH, CORNWALL.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: UNKNOWN.